Laptops with 100% Adobe RGB for Graphic Designers & Digital Artists

Do you work with print? Are you looking for the laptop with best screen for photo editing? Is colour accuracy critical to your workflow?

If you answer yes to any of the question above, then you need a laptop with a screen that supports close to 100% Adobe RGB.

Why do you need 100% Adobe RGB? Well, it's because it covers the whole CMYK gamut. 100% sRGB merely intersects the CMYK gamut and hence won't be able to produce all the colours in the CMYK colour space. With a screen that supports 100% Adobe RGB, you get to see accurate colours on screen, colours that can be used to match printed proofs.

WARNING ABOUT 4K RESOLUTION SCREENS: Using such high resolution screen could mean incompatibility with older graphics software. What I mean is, user interface may be too small. E.g. Adobe CS5 and CS6 has tiny buttons and menus on such high resolution screens that it's frustrating to use, and may likely force you to spend money to upgrade to newer software.

Below are some laptops currently available that supports 85-100% Adobe RGB. This isn't a list for the budget constrained because colour critical laptops are not cheap. We're talking about workstation grade laptops.

Dell XPS 15 (2016)

Dell XPS has both style and substance. They look great and packs lots of power. In terms of physical design, they are quite similar to the Dell Precision. Main difference to the Dell Precision workstation laptops is the Dell Precision has more configurable options.

Note that Dell XPS has two options for screens. There's the 1080P matte option and the 4K glossy screen. The 4K screen supports 100% Adobe RGB.

Best configured model:

  • Intel i7 Quad Core 3.5 GHz
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 15.6-inch 4K glossy touch-screen
  • 100% Adobe RGB support
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 2GB
  • Ports: USB 3, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD card slot
  • 6-cell (84Wh) battery
  • Weight: 2kg

I've used the Dell XPS 15 9550 model extensively before and it impressed me very much. Here's my review.

Dell Precision (2016)

Dell Precision are workstation laptops that lets you customize almost every part. For example, you can configure a laptop to run Xeon processor or Quadro workstation graphics card.

I've use the Dell Precision 5510 and it's seriously a fantastic laptop for work purposes. Solid, well built and fast.

Best configured model

  • Xeon E3-1505M v5 (Quad Core 2.80GHz)
  • 32GB RAM
  • 2 storage drives
  • 15.6-inch 4K glossy touch-screen
  • 100% Adobe RGB support
  • Nvidia Quadro M1000M 2GB
  • Ports: USB 3, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD card slot
  • 6-cell (81Wh) battery
  • Weight: 2kg

There are limited configurations that all start with quad-core. So it's quite a pricey tablet even with the base model.

HP Zbook Studio (Nov 2015)

Competing directly with Dell Precision workstations are the HP ZBooks. There are many ZBook models but the one most suitable for graphic designers is the HP ZBook Studio G3 with 15.6-inch 4K screen supports up to 85% Adobe RGB. The HP workstation laptop is also very configurable.

Best configured model:

  • Intel Xeon E3-1545M quad-core 2.9GHz
  • 15.6-inch 4K matte screen
  • 85% Adobe RGB
  • 32GB RAM
  • Two storage drives
  • NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4GB
  • 6 Cell Li-Polymer Battery 90Wh
  • Ports: USB 3, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD card slot
  • Weight: 2.08kg

Lenovo P50 (Early 2016)

Lenovo P50 is another solid workstation laptop that competes with Dell Precision and HP ZBook Studio. All these three laptops offer extensive configurations.

Highlight of this laptop is the 15.6 inch 4K matte screen. It's rare to find 4K screens that are matte. It supports up to 85% Adobe RGB though.

Best configured model:

  • Intel Xeon E3-1535M quad-core 2.9GHz
  • 15.6-inch 4K matte screen
  • 85% Adobe RGB
  • 64GB RAM
  • Two storage drives
  • NVIDIA Quadro M2000M 4GB
  • Ports: USB 3, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD card slot
  • 6-cell (90Wh) battery
  • Weight: 2.55kg

Razer Blade Stealth (Late 2016)

Razer Blade Stealth is only on this list because it has a 4K screen that supports 100% Adobe RGB. However, we're looking at a 12.5-inch screen which I feel is quite small personally.

The graphics card is Intel® HD Graphics 520. The selling point is its ability to the connected via Thunderbolt 3 to the Razer Core which can house a powerful graphics card of your choice.

If you need a portable workstation that you can eventually plug into an external monitor to work at home or office, Razer Blade Stealth is a good choice.

Best configured model:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-6500U dual 2.5Ghz
  • 12.5-inch 4K glossy touch-screen
  • 100% Adobe RGB
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Intel® HD Graphics 520 with optional RAZER CORE
  • Battery 45Wh
  • Ports: USB 3, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI
  • Weight: 1.25kg

Vaio Z Canvas (Dec 2015)

The Vaio Z Canvas base model uses a Intel Core i7-4770HQ quad-core 2.2Ghz with Iris™ Pro Graphics 5200 which has more processing power than SP4's dual-core. It's also priced quite competitively because it comes with a bundled keyboard.

The screen is small though, at 12.3 inches and supports 2560 by 1704 resolution. However, it supports 95% Adobe RGB.

Best configured model:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-4770HQ quad-core 2.2Ghz
  • 12.3-inch 2560 by 1704 glossy touch-screen
  • 95% Adobe RGB
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • Iris™ Pro Graphics 5200
  • Battery 63Wh
  • Ports: USB 3, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, SD card slot
  • Weight: 1.21kg

Conclusion

Personally, I would go with either Dell Precision for the 100% Adobe RGB or the HP ZBook Studio with matte screen 85% Adobe RGB.

Which model you choose will depend on what compromise you're willing to make. If you're in print production where colour accuracy is critical, go for the 100% Adobe RGB laptops.

Before you buy, make sure your graphics software is able to support 4K resolution. This will save you frustration down the road, and money when you're forced to upgrade.

If you don't have the budget, check out this list for more recommendations.

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